Lions inquired about trading for Falcons RB Devonta Freeman
The Detroit Lions have been in need of bolstering their backfield depth ever since placing running back Kerryon Johnson on injured reserve.
The Lions inquired about the availability of Devonta Freeman of the Atlanta Falcons ahead of the NFL trade deadline as a result, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Both sides talked about a potential deal ‘at length’ but the Falcons just simply decided not to trade him.
An intriguing would-be trade that was heavily discussed over the past week, but didn’t end up happening: #Falcons RB Devonta Freeman to the #Lions. DET inquired, the sides talked about a possible deal at length, but ultimately, Atlanta just decided they didn’t want to trade him.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 30, 2019
There was talk about the Falcons potentially shedding some of their higher salaried players given their large payroll for underachieving results. Freeman signed a five-year, 41.25 million contract in 2017 but apparently the Lions were willing to still acquire him.
After coming off an injury during the 2018 season, Freeman has not been nearly as impactful of a rusher so far this season. He has managed to generate just 333 rushing yards and no rushing touchdowns on 97 carries, resulting in an average of 3.4 yards per carry.
The Falcons have found success using Freeman in the passing game similar to his production during his top seasons. He has managed to produce 272 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns on 35 targets. He has recorded a catch on 87.5 percent of the team’s targets going his way.
The fact of the matter is that Devonta Freeman hasn’t been quite as impactful since rushing for 2,135 yards and 22 touchdowns combined during the 2015 and 2016 seasons. The 27-year-old has earned two Pro Bowl appearances in his NFL career and the Lions likely believed that he still has a lot left to provide a team.
The Lions face the Oakland Raiders in Week 9 at O.co Coliseum.